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Ever since the start of MCO, most people have taken up a new hobby from painting to gardening, and more popularly… cooking! We have jumped on the bandwagon of Dalgona coffees or even made no-bake cheesecakes in mugs (who knows). However, do you see yourself cooking well, or are you blindly following a recipe? 

Whether you are a kitchen newbie or a pro, you may find yourself making rookie cooking mistakes when you are in a rush or not in the mood. The good news is that mistakes don’t last forever; they don’t define you either. That is why it’s time to round it up and become a better cook by avoiding these simple mistakes.

Here are 5 rookie cooking mistakes that you are probably making in the kitchen and how to avoid or fix them.

1) How much salt is too much salt?

Person adding salt into a bowl of salad

Salt is a small but rather tricky ingredient; it may influence the way the entire dish is going to taste in the end. If you have added too much salt, fix it by adding an unsalted liquid such as a stock or water which helps thin out the salt but only in small measures. Another simple hack you can try involves adding some vinegar or lemon juice to tone down the saltiness. Remember that by doing this, you are not removing the salt but only concealing it with other flavours.

While some add too much salt, others add too little. Not putting enough salt in your dish will lead to a bland meal even if you have all the other ingredients right. So if the recipe calls for salt, sprinkle some in Salt Bae style!

However, on another note, sodium is a trigger for those with health conditions like high blood pressure or heart problems. So it is important to always be considerate of other factors and cook wisely.

2) Straight out of the freezer?

Woman pressing down a meat

Meat or fish that is too cold and cooked straight out of the freezer have lesser chances to cook evenly. Though the outsides may seem done, the insides are most probably still raw. Therefore, take your meat or fish out of the fridge and leave it outside for about 20 minutes at room temperature before finally cooking it.

3) Overcrowding the pan

Chicken frying in a pan of oil

In order to cook faster or when in a hurry, people tend to toss in a large batch of meat pieces into the pan. Is that a good idea? Absolutely-not. Food that is cooked in an overcrowded pan takes a longer time to brown and only turns out soggy.  

Instead, cook in smaller batches. With smaller amounts of chicken or meat in the pan, the moisture will cook away faster which allows the meat to brown properly.

4) Overcooking your eggs

Hard boiled eggs sitting in a pot of water

Most people think that you can’t overcook hard boiled eggs, the truth is: you can! Here’s how to know if you have overcooked hard boiled eggs:

  1. The whites looks and feels like rubber
  2. The outsides of the yolk is gray or dark green
  3. The yolk looks and tastes chalky

To get perfect hard boiled eggs, place eggs in a pot or saucepan. Don’t overcrowd the eggs or put them over another. Fill the pan with cold water an inch above the eggs surface. Over high heat, boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes and lift. Remember to set a timer!

Easy Peeling Hack: Try adding salt and vinegar to the water before boiling your eggs.The salt permeates the shell while the vinegar helps to break it down.

As for scrambled eggs, cook them at a lower heat while constantly moving the eggs in the pan. Cooking them over high heat will allow all of the moisture to escape. Then, turn off the heat while they’re still slightly undercooked and leave them on the pan. The residual heat will finish them off to perfection.

Missed our article on buying the right type of eggs? Read it here: 

5) Forgetting to taste as you go

Woman tasting the soup

Tasting as you go is a must-must when it comes to cooking, even if you are only following a recipe. Recipes don’t always specify for a specific brand of item, which means that your dish could vary in saltiness or flavour.

Tasting in the process gives you the opportunity to adjust the seasoning and ensure the final flavour is as it should be. Tasting your dish should also come naturally, so trust your intuitions and let your taste buds decide your next move.

Happy cooking!

Also Read: When Is The Best Time To Eat Fruits?

A bowl of colourful fruits and berries